A DOMINANT and tenacious Casey Demons side has crushed Collingwood by 63 points at Casey Fields on Sunday afternoon.
Casey Demons 15.12 (102) defeated Collingwood 6.3 (39).
From the opening bounce the Demons were at their devastating best booting the opening three goals of the contest before a second-quarter barrage broke the game open and the Demons were never challenged.
“We were really pleased with the commitment to the plan from the whole playing group,” Casey Demons head coach Jade Rawlings told Melbourne Media.
“It was a completely different looking side this week from what we have had in recent weeks.
“But it was more about they were able to invest in the way we wanted to play and go about our game plan… They were able for most of today go out and do that.”
With 13-AFL listed players wearing the Springvale FC dark blue jumper in today’s heritage round contest, it made for an imposing side for the visitors to overcome.
The match showcased the talents of a number of returning AFL players who will thrust their name forward come selection time in the coming weeks, including Kyle Dunkley, Kade Kolondjashnij and the timeless Jordan Lewis.
Returning to Casey after a 1-week suspension, the 311-AFL-gamer was in scintillating form playing in the Demons midfield recording a team-high 30 disposals, taking eight marks and controlling every facet of the match.
“Can’t fault him,” Rawlings said.
“Could not be more pleased with a player of his calibre and what he has done [at Casey].
“He has genuinely invested, with my experience you can tell when someone is genuinely invested.
“He is a great person, a good footy person, but I really like how he is leading from the front.
“He is not playing just to get back to the AFL, he is playing to enjoy footy.”
Lewis was sensational for the Dees, but another standout was mid-season recruit Dunkley.
Looking much more comfortable in his second game for the Club, Dunkley was a revelation with 21 disposals and booting three goals.
“We think that he got a lot of learnings out of last week, about how we play and what we value,” Rawlings said.
“He is a good learner, and we thought he was really active this week.
“He really caught our eye today with how he cleared the ball through the contest.
“But he also found a way to kick a goal.”
Another who hit their straps in their second game back was Kolondjashnij, finishing with 28 disposals in the romp.
“We are really pleased with his approach to training,” Rawlings said.
“He has gone from about eight weeks of not playing, so he was pretty gassed last week.
“But definitely better for last week’s run… He covered the ground really well, won the ball really well… It was a big step forward from where he was last week.”
It was a complete team performance from the opening bounce as the team looked on-song, epitomised by the play of Casey captain Mitch White, finishing with 10 marks and booting three goals in an inspiring performance.
“He has looked really dominate at times this year [as a forward],” Rawlings said.
“The way he started the game, he really set a tone as our captain.
“I thought he was the most aerial dominate player on the ground.
“I am really pleased with his progress at captain this year.”
Casey dominated every aspect of the match, recording 387 disposals to Collingwood’s 324, taking 58 more marks than the visitors and more than doubling the inside 50 count of 65-33, it made for the Demons best performance of the season.
With the influx of AFL-talent back to the team, but hungry for their own opportunities on the big stage, the head coach believes the environment at Casey Fields provides the perfect vehicle for them to earn their chance.
“What we do at Casey is provide an environment so that they [Melbourne’s AFL-listed players] are playing and behaving at a level so they are AFL ready,” Rawlings said.
“So, when their opportunity arises they are ready to go in.”
With the victory, the Demons remain in striking distance of the top eight teams, coupled with a weekend off for their first bye of the season, the Demons are now poised to make a surge back into contention in the VFL.
CASEY DEMONS 4.5 7.11 9.11 15.11 (101)
COLLINGWOOD 2.0 3.1 5.2 6.3 (38)
Lewis, Wagner, White, Dunkley, Kennedy-Harris, Preuss
White, Dunkley 3, Chandler, Wagner, Lefau 2, Lockhart, Preuss, Neal-Bullen